Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dreamy Cottage

Images Courtesy of Flickr

1. Pink Butterflies and Flowers Rag Quilt Pincushion, 2. IMG_8454, 3. Rosa Detail, 4. P6190637, 5. Hand dyed ribbons, 6. vintage buttons, 7. china room #1, 8. Untitled, 9. Grow Baby Grow Banner

For PINK Saturday please enjoy some dreamy PINK cottage images from Flickr!

I want the china tea pot birdhouse!  

Welcome to Beverly's Pink Saturday .  Click on her link to see more PINK!

Please join Mary at The Little Red House (here) for more Mosaic Monday

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jingle Bells!

I know I'm crazy but I keep thinking about Christmas!

There is so much going on during the Christmas season with all the detailed planning, gift buying and wrapping, writing our annual Christmas letter and preparing our Christmas cards, baking & frosting our sugar cookies and, of course, decorating everywhere that I decided to start working on my Christmas crochet projects now.

As you all know, I just finished crocheting "Candy Cane", my red and white ripple crocheted throw, (read about it here) and I could barely wait to start my next one.  

I've named this ripple throw "Jingle Bells" and it's in Christmas color bands of white, red and lime green.  

Pretty simple color pattern... but I really like it.

Yarn used is Caron's Simply Soft 100% acrylic in yarn colors of red, white and limelight with an H hook size.

I knew right away which ripple stitch I wanted to use for this one.  

I picked the "Granny Chevrons" ripple stitch... another great ripple stitch from Jan Eaton's book "200 Ripple Stitch Patterns".   

It's so easy to crochet and I'm loving the look of this stitch.  

This stitch pattern is multiples of 23 plus 2.  My foundation chain is 230 chains plus 2.

It took me awhile to understand what these "multiples" meant.  If you sew it's like a piece of fabric that has a motif design on it (called a "repeat") and you want to make sure your motif ("repeat") looks right when you are done cutting and sewing your project.  In crocheting you want to make sure that your stitch pattern will "repeat" correctly and end nicely.     

I learned from my previous ripple throw that you need to make your foundation chain longer than it's chain length because the ripple effect with its hills and valleys will take up some of your chain length.   

This one came out just right.   

Here you can see the "repeats" between the hills and valleys.

I still have a long way to go to finish "Jingle Bells" but you can get a sense of its pattern and colors from this section.

Stacking the "repeats"!

Oh, how I love these Christmasy colors!

How do you like my Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus Creamer and Sugar Set?

I bought this set from Avon in 1983!

Avon sells beauty products, jewelry and cute little things like this.  You can visit their website (here).  And, no, they didn't pay me to say this.  

Please join me for:

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
                                Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
 Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday

By the way I hit a milestone yesterday....300 followers!

That was exciting and what a thrill for my little blog!

Hugs to all my followers!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Many Faces of "Candy Cane"!

The Many Faces of "Candy Cane"!

I decided to stop at the simple border/edging on my latest Christmas crocheted throw "Candy Cane". 

 So, "Candy Cane" is all finished.  

This throw was very easy to crochet using Jan Eaton's ripple stitch pattern called "Storm Clouds".  

Previously blogged about (here).  

The border/edging is two rounds of double crochet using two strands of yarn together in red and white.     

First time I have ever used two strands at once.  

I was pleased to discover by using Caron's Simply Soft yarn, it wasn't hard to do at all.  

Although I just finished the first round of white single crochet in this photo I did add another round of single crochet in white.

Here's a close of of the other end in red. 

 This is an earlier photo taken before I finished the final round of white single crochet. 

I love the wide white band on what I call the "white end". 

 It's six rows of the "storm cloud" ripple stitch in white three times with one row of red between.

This is the reverse end showing the wide red band.

And all laid out to see the pattern.   The final size is 40 inches by 60 inches. 

I started out on the white end and then reverse the color pattern for the red end.

Somehow I added an extra little bump (ripple) at the red end that isn't at the white end.  

I didn't even notice it until it was all finished.  LOL! 

That's what makes it unique. 

Color Pattern 
(ripple double crochet stitch used throughout is Jan Eaton's "Storm Clouds")

(Starting with what I call the "White End")

Three rows of white;
One row of red;
One row of white;
One row of red;
Three rows of white.

Three rows of red;
Two rows of white;
Three rows of red.

Six rows of white;
One row of red;
Six rows of white;
One row of red;
Six rows of white.

Now I reverse the color pattern for the "Red End".

Three rows of red;
One row of white;
One row of red;
One row of white;
Three rows of red.

Three rows of white;
Two rows of red;
Three rows of white.

Six rows of red;
One row of white;
Six rows of red;
One row of white;
Six rows of red.

And for the last two bands at the red end I repeated the first two white end bands.

Three rows of white;
One row of red;
One row of white;
One row of red;
Three rows of white.

Three rows of red;
Two rows of white;
Three rows of red.

I think this photo shows how the pattern is reversed from the white end to red end.

Do you think

"Candy Cane"

will be pretty displayed at Christmas time?

Please join Mary at The Little Red House (here) for more Mosaic Monday

And there are more REDs to enjoy with our host, Sue, at 

It's A Very Cherry World

for REDnesday!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Pink Petals!

I'm sharing some Happy Pinks I found in Flickr!

(Click on each photo to link back to the talented owner.)

Vintage Pattern Stitchalong - Pinks

A vintage embroidered petals pattern...

Mad Tea Party 4

Pretty fairy flowered slippers....(oh my, wouldn't you love to have a pair of these!)

Octogon Flower

An octagon crocheted flower...

Fanciful Flower Potholder 1

A crocheted flower potholder...


Pink gerbera daisy petals...

I`m beautiful

More beautiful pink petals....

Vintage Fabric Pink Floral

Vintage pink floral fabric...

Fondant Flower Molds

Flowered mold soaps....

coussin fleur

Crocheted cushion petals....

Shabby Chic pink hanging towel

A Flowered Tea Towel...

Pretty Petals

And let's end with more pretty crocheted petals!

I can't help but smile at each and everyone of these lovely images.  

It's another hot pink day here!   

Yesterday reached 103.1 degrees F. on our outdoor thermometer.

Welcome to Beverly's Pink Saturday .  Click on her link to see more PINK!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Meal for The Men in Your Life!

My Hubby's (and mine too) favorite meal is Flank Steak.

We barbecued this flank steak over the 4th of July weekend.

Flank steak is a lean meat but less tender so it needs to be marinated.

But once it is marinated the steak melts in your mouth.

To have a meal taste as good as this does makes you think it is a long process.   But it's not.  After marinating the steak as instructed* grill the steak on high for five minutes per side.  Yep, just five minutes per side.  No longer than that.

Let it rest a few minutes...while you butter and season your corn on the cob.

We love corn on the cob as a side dish with the flank steak.  I microwaved the corn on the cob...this method is easy as pie.  Just wrap the corn in wax paper and microwave on high for five minutes (for two ears of corn).  Half way though the five minutes turn the cobs over.

For just the two of us this cooking method sure beats getting a large pot out to boil water.  And your corn will be nice and hot when cooked this way.

I use our electric knife to slice the flank steak into thin slices.   Then pour the juice back over your steak before serving.

My marinade recipe is from "The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook" second printing 1974 (...the cookbook was a wedding gift).

*Meats should be marinated in a non-metallic container to avoid a reaction between the metal and acid.  The container should be shallow enough for the steak to lie flat with as much area covered by the marinade as possible.  If using a plastic bag, force out as much air as possible before closing and place it in a shallow dish to guard against leakage.  Turn meat occasionally during marinating period to tenderize evenly.  This recipe makes enough marinade for about 2 pounds of steak.  To allow time to tenderize steak, marinate overnight (about 12 hours) in refrigerator or at room temperature 2 to 3 hours (warmer room temperature speeds the tenderizing).

Do not grill this steak indoors because there is excessive spattering from the liquid marinade in the hot fat.  

Marinated steak is most tender when cooked to medium rare doneness.  Additional cooking toughens and dries the tender fibers so don't grill it any longer than five minutes per side.


3/4 cup oil (I use vegetable oil)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 green onion, chopped, if desired (I never add this cause I don't have it on hand)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced (I never add this either same reason as the onion)

Combine all ingredients.  Marinade your flank steak as instructed* above.

I usually buy a piece of flank steak that is about a pound or a little more for the two of us.   If you have more to feed I would suggest getting a pound per two adult people.  

Trust me the men in your life will love this meal.  

There are Happy Faces in my home when I serve this meal.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Hot, Hot and Hotter Here!

Border and Edging at white end.

Ripple Granny Type Stitch is called "Storm Clouds".

Red Hot Here...

at least our A/C is I can continue crocheting the border and edging of my Christmas throw...

 ~ Candy Cane ~

First blogged about (here).

Border and Edging at the other red end.

I worked two strands together of Red and White to get the variegated look (two rounds of double crochet).  Now I'm putting two rounds of single crochet in white around the outer edge.  I'll almost out of white yarn though.  

Candy Cane

Working on the border and edging now.

I haven't made up my mind if I will stop at the second round of single crochet in the white or if I will keep going to make the border/edging bigger.  I'll have to get more white and red yarn to continue.

When I am finished with Candy Cane I will post another photo of the throw so you can see the pattern I worked up in red and white.

Too darn hot!

It's just horribly hot here and will be even worst tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at 102 and 101 degrees F.  

We had to go out in our garage tonight and transfer our meats still frozen in our freezer there to our kitchen refrigerator/freezer.  The heat was too much in the garage and the freezer was starting to lose it's ability to keep the food frozen.  We saved some stuff but had to throw out some too.  That's the first time that has happened to us in eleven years with having a separate freezer in the garage.  

I hope your evening is going better than ours and that you are escaping this horrible heat.

Keep Cool!

Please join me for:
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
                                Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
 Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show of Your Cottage Monday

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our New Travel Van

Looks good in our driveway!

I mentioned before that we decided to trade in our beautiful 33' 5th wheel travel trailer for a small RV.  We bought our 5th when we retired three years ago and while we loved it for it's apartment like living we missed being able to travel down any road and stop anywhere.  That's something you can't do when you are towing a large trailer.   Our trailer with our truck was 50' long.  We will miss our roomy trailer but sometimes we like to get off the interstates and ride the back roads and this little guy can do that.  So that's why we finally decided on this compact travel van (it's 20' 4").   

It's been too hot here the last few days to continue to pack our new travel van with the essentials....even with the A/C running.  So it's back in storage until this heat wave breaks. 

So would you like to take a tour? 

The lounge and bedroom.
This is the lounge and bedroom area.  The couch is electric so with the flick of a switch it rolls down to a double bed size.  We have the option to put a board in across the two cushions to make it into a large king size bed if we wish.

There's an HD TV (cable TV ready) enclosed in a  cabinet over the cushion on the right (above) along with a built in radio /DVD/CD player.  I didn't think to take a picture of it.

The kitchen.
Here we have lovely Corian countertops with a small sink, a two burner stove and a small freezer/refrigerator under the sink.  We don't have solid surface countertops in our "stick" home's kitchen but nothing is too good for our RV.


Our little, teeny, tiny bathroom with sink, toilet and shower...and Corian countertops.

Kitchen, Lounge and Bathroom.

Our kitchen is on the left, bathroom on the right and lounge area in back.  The carpet by the couch is removable and we have already taken it out.  I'm so glad it's not carpeted.  It's so much easier to take care of without the carpet.

Dash with driver and passenger seats.

Both the driver and passenger chairs up front swivel around.  That was one of our "must haves"...comfortable chairs to sit in at night. 

The van dash came pretty basic with just a plain radio so we had it upgraded after delivery with a radio/DVD/CD/GPS/MP3/iPhone combination.     

There is a door in front of the passenger chair facing us to exit the van in addition to the driver and passenger doors.

Our little clothes closet is on the left.  You can just see the door handle for it.  On top of the closet is a combination convection/mircowave oven.  Something new to to work a convection oven.  Don't have one of those in our "stick" home either.  

Layout for Pleasure Way ExcelTS

Here's a view of the layout.    

Picking up our new travel van!

Two happy campers!  

We haven't taken any trips in it yet and it's killing us.  It's just been way too hot.  When we picked it up we discovered that the A/C wasn't working properly so we had to take it back to have a new unit put in.  That's done now.  

This is the second small RV we have had so we do know that we have to select carefully what we take with us as the storage is limited...and we have to be careful about the payload weight too.


It' s always easier to pack for Hubby than for myself.  I like to take several pairs of shoes and more clothes than I probably should for all the "what ifs".   So wish me luck..I feel like Cathy above.

We learned that everything we pack must have a looks too messy if you leave too much sitting out on the counters and tables when set up at a campsite.  Plus when traveling down the road everything has to be put away anyway.   Trust me you don't want loose stuff flying all over the van.    

Hope you enjoyed the walkthrough!